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Every year, I make a New Year’s resolution to get serious about my smoothie routine, and then every year I dread the reality of cleaning out all the parts of my Vitamix. So this year, I decided to embark on a quest to find a blender that would save me from aggravation and excessive cleaning while still keeping me on track with my top-of-year smoothie goals.
What I was looking for: a blender that was powerful, easy to clean, and user-friendly. In testing, I discovered three models available on DoorDash that fit the bill.
How I Tested (Plus, a Recipe!)
I ordered five different portable blenders, three of which I felt were top-tier selections for those looking to make an investment. For the purposes of testing, I used the same recipe for each smoothie (based, in part, on various recommendations from the blender manufacturers). My recipe combines ¼ cup frozen blueberries, ¼ cup unflavored protein powder, a handful of spinach, half of a banana, and one cup of oat milk. I layered these all in the base of the machines in the same order: liquid first, followed by the banana, greens, powder, and blueberries.
There is a lot to like about the 18-ounce-capacity Ninja Blast Portable Blender. Although the manufacturer’s instructions stated that it required two hours of charging before first-use, it was ready well before that. The 30-second blending cycles blitzed everything quickly and efficiently; my smoothies had no detectable chunks or bits (I found that three cycles was sufficient for a smooth and creamy drink). The blender top is a combo drinking lid, and it’s wide enough to accommodate even thicker drinks. And although I selected a sleek denim blue model, the Ninja also comes in plenty of other colors.
My only quibble with this powerful machine was that it doesn’t come with a separate base, meaning that those on the go need to take the heavier base with them, which is a little inconvenient and cumbersome. But cleaning — a quick rinse of the base and a dishwash for the vessel — was a breeze.
Like the Ninja, the BlendJet Portable Black Blender operates in 30-second cycles. I used four cycles to achieve the ideal texture for my smoothie, but nothing stuck in the bottom of the blender, and the result was a light and frothy drink. The BlendJet does not come with a bottom cap, so you do have to bring the base along with you if you intend to use this as a to-go cup, but it’s a much lighter base than the Ninja. It also doesn’t come with a separate drink top.
The base does take longer to charge on the first go; if you intend to use it right away, either charge it early or plan on keeping it plugged in at first. Still, it’s a lighter model, and the manufacturer recommends an easy clean: Just fill the vessel with water and run the cycle, which I found both fun and easy.
This cute, slim blender comes in two colorways: aqua and white. You’ll need a full two hours to charge it before use, at which point the 30-second blending cycles do their magic. I found that three cycles were sufficient, though I did notice some blueberries in the blades after use.
Like the Brookstone, the Dash offers a bottom cap for easy transport. There’s only one slightly trickier operational issue with the Dash: If the arrows are not directly aligned between the vessel and the base, the blender will not turn on. Also, the sports top seal can slip down, so users should be mindful as they screw the top on. Otherwise, I found this to be a lightweight and effective blender that got the job done. To clean, add water to the vessel and run it through the blender, water smoothie-style.
Photographer: Paul Quitoriano
Food Stylist: Cesar Aldrete
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros Gomez